ConAgra Reformulates Popcorn To Delete Suspect Ingredient

The nation's largest popcorn maker is developing an integrated campaign that will tout the fact that its reformulated Orville Redenbacher and ACT II microwave brands no longer contain added diacetyl, a creamy, buttery flavoring.

ConAgra on Monday announced the move via public relations and a satellite media tour. A company spokesperson tells Marketing Daily that the upcoming campaign, "designed to generate news" around the new formulation, will include TV, online, PR and POS.

Other popcorn makers have already made similar moves, especially since the discovery as far back as 2002 that diacetyl was making popcorn factory workers ill. ConAgra says it has taken "extensive safety precautions in our microwave popcorn facilities," including "improved ventilation and some simple steps such as making sure lids are put back on the containers of butter flavoring to help minimize and even eliminate exposure."

In a statement, Stan Jacot, vice president/marketing for ConAgra Foods' popcorn business, said the latest measures are being taken "to address any consumer perceptions about diacetyl and to make our popcorn factories as safe as possible. We want to assure our consumers they can continue to enjoy their favorite popcorn with complete confidence."

With the new formulations now hitting store shelves, consumers will notice some slight changes to the packaging, the company says. All packages with the new formulas will have "No Added Diacetyl" printed near the date code.

Additionally, ConAgra Foods is introducing a new packaging design for all of its reformulated microwave popcorn products that will state "New Great Tasting Butter Flavor" on the front of the box, along with "No Added Diacetyl Butter Flavorings" printed on the side of the box near the nutritional information.

Tags: food
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